- Category: Sports
31 Jan 2013
- Written by Kelley Evans
In the past two weeks, talk among NBA followers and Memphis Grizzlies' fans have centered around forward Rudy Gay and trade rumors.
Well, it's no longer a rumor!
A three-team deal late Wednesday sent Gay to the Toronto Raptors.
When the smoke cleared, Gay was gone, along with reserve center Hamed Haddadi, with three players – the most notable being small forward Tayshaun Prince of the Detroit Pistons – now added to the Grizz grind squad.
"Thanks to the fans and my teammates in Memphis for the memories," Gay said in a late-night Tweet. "Came in a 19 year old kid now leaving a 26 year old man. thank you!"
The trade also lands the Raptors' power forward Ed Davis in Memphis, along with Austin Daye of the Pistons.
"We are excited to add three players who bring with them a tremendous amount of value to our team and have achieved incredible success on the pro, college and Olympic levels," said Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace.
"In these players, we welcome NBA Champion and Olympic gold medalist Tayshaun Prince, as well as up-and-coming athletic forwards Ed Davis, who won an NCAA title at North Carolina, and Austin Daye," Wallace said in a statement released by the Grizzlies.
"On behalf of the Memphis Grizzlies, we especially would like to thank Rudy Gay for his contributions to the Grizzlies and the City of Memphis both on and off the court. We wish him and Hamed the very best."
The Grizz also get the Raptors' 2013 second-round draft pick.
At 26, Gay now is a seven-year veteran who entered the season with career averages of 17 points, five rebounds and 1 assist. He is the all-time franchise leader in steals.
Prince is averaging 11.7 points. The 32-year-old NBA veteran earned an NBA title with the Pistons in 2004.
Gay, who ranks 20th in the NBA in scoring, has a $37 million contract left over the next two season. In July of 2010, he signed an $82 million, five-year contract under former owner Michael Heisley. Prince's contract is $15 million.
Daye and Prince were inactive when the Pistons played the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
Gay and Haddadi's trade makes five players that the Grizzlies have moved off their roster in less than two weeks. Marreese Speights, Wayne Ellington and Josh Selby are now with the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal that helped Memphis avoid paying a $4 million luxury tax.
As the trade rumors circulated, Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said that he preferred that the team he had at the time would stay together for the entire season.